More Powerful Force Gurkha Xtreme Set To Turn Heat On Mahindra Thar
The Mahindra Thar better watch out as the Gurkha’s new variant packs a more powerful engine and various other updates
Force Motors is gearing up to launch a new variant of its rival to the Mahindra Thar, the Gurkha, soon. The leaked brochure for the new variant, which will be sold alongside the Xplorer and Xpedition variants, suggests that it could be called the Gurkha Xtreme. Although there’s no official confirmation from the automaker yet, the leaked brochure does give us an insight into the specifications and features of the new variant.
The most substantial change will be under its bonnet. The Xtreme is set to get a new 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine that makes 140PS of power and 321Nm of peak torque, coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission. Derived from Mercedes-Benz’s OM611 engine, this motor powered the Force One SUV previously. It is more powerful than the 2.6-litre turbocharged diesel engine (85PS/260Nm) that powers the rest of the range. In fact, it produces more grunt than the most powerful version of the Thar (CRDe) that puts out 105PS and 247Nm. Currently, the engine complies with BSIV emission norms and we expect Force Motors to upgrade the engine to meet the upcoming BSVI norms at a later stage.
Apart from the new engine, the Gurkha will also feature a new front suspension setup comprising of multi-link hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers instead of the independent coil spring setup seen on the Xplorer and Xpedition. The new kit should help improve on-road manners without compromising ride quality. The Thar CRDe, on the other hand, gets an independent suspension with torsion and stabilizer bar at the front and semi-elliptical leaf springs at the rear.
The Gurkha Xtreme also gets a recirculating ball power steering instead of the rack and pinion setup found in other variants. Although it’s an older system when compared to rack and pinion, it is considered better for off-road vehicles. That’s because the recirculating ball steering can transfer higher amount of forces to the wheels. It also allows engineers to keep the steering box away from the axle so that it does not get damaged during intense offroading.
While a lot has changed on the specification front, the new Gurkha Xtreme remains pretty much the same as the other variants when it comes to its design. Visible changes include new alloy wheels and the new fender mounted lamps, which are now clear lens units instead of the orange ones seen before.
At 3992mm x 1790mm and 2055mm (LxWxH), the Gurkha Xtreme’s dimensions are identical to the three-door Gurkha Xplorer. However, the Xtreme has a 40mm wider front track at 1,530mm. Like the Xplorer, the Xtreme too will be offered with two roof options - hard top and soft top. The hard top version has a seating capacity for five, while the soft top version can seat seven thank to two side facing bench seats at the rear.
The upcoming Gurkha Xtreme is better equipped than the current variants. So expect it to be priced at a substantial premium over the others. The current variants of the the Gurkha are priced between Rs 9.35 lakh and Rs 11.90 lakh (ex-showroom India). The Thar CRDe, on the hand, is priced at Rs 9.24 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Soon, the Gurkha might get a new rival as Maruti Suzuki is expected to launch the new Jimny here. If launched, the three-door SUV will replace ageing Gypsy, which has been around for more than three decades. More details about the Jimny here.
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